India’s Solar Cell and Module Imports and Exports Rise YoY in Q2 2023

ALMM suspension for a year is spurring solar imports again


India exported solar cells and modules worth $463.8 million (~₹38.6 billion) in the second quarter (Q2) of calendar year (CY) 2023, a staggering year-over-year (YoY) increase of 1,669%, according to the Department of Commerce data.

However, on a quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) basis, exports fell 3.1% from $478.8 million (~₹39.9 billion) in Q1 2023.

Solar photovoltaic modules accounted for approximately 98% of the country’s total solar exports.

Building upon the momentum from Q1, solar exports surged by a remarkable 2,696.4% in the first half of 2023, compared to $33.7 million (~₹2.8 billion) during the same period the previous year.

Solar Imports & Exports Q2 2023

The U.S. remained the top buyer of Indian solar products in Q2 2023, accounting for 98.5% of total solar exports.

The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) issued a clarification on the scope of the anti-circumvention investigation in December 2022, allowing the import of solar modules assembled in non-Southeast Asian countries. This clarification provided Indian solar manufacturers with a window of opportunity to export modules to the U.S., resulting in a notable upswing in solar exports during the recent quarters.

In May 2023, U.S. President Joe Biden vetoed the bipartisan resolution passed by the Senate, temporarily suspending tariffs on solar modules imported from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam until at least June 2024.

South Africa accounted for 0.8% of the quarter’s exports, while Afghanistan, Canada, and the U.A.E. each accounted for 0.1%.

Solar Imports & Exports 1H2023


India’s solar cell and module imports increased by 55.1% YoY to $926.6 million (~₹77.2 billion) from $597 million (~₹49.7 billion).

On a QoQ comparison, solar imports grew 14.1% from $812 million (~₹67.6 billion).

Solar module imports saw a 50.1% increase in QoQ, while cell imports declined by 4.7%.

Solar module imports have risen after the Approved List of Manufacturers and Modules regulations was suspended, temporarily allowing developers to procure solar components from international markets until March 2024.

China accounted for 42.3% of the total cell and module imports in Q2 2023, down from 60% in the previous quarter.

The other countries that significantly contributed to India’s solar imports include Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Cambodia.

Thanks to the existing Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with countries like Vietnam and Malaysia, the proportion of imports from these nations has risen.

Vietnam accounted for 19%, and Malaysia for 18.3% of the total cell and module imports in Q2 2023.

For 1H 2023, the imports, however, saw a dip of 4.7% when compared to the previous year, where the imports were much higher as developers and manufacturers were stockpiling cells and modules ahead of the BCD imposition in April 2022.

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Detailed solar import and export data by component types, suppliers, manufacturers, and developers are available in Mercom’s India Solar Exim Tracker.